My to-be-read list is out of control. And they keep publishing interesting looking books! I think I will need to stop reviewing books, even though it’s a great way to get free books. I really need to plow through the massive pile I already have! And part of the problem is that I get interested in different subjects, so then I start looking at books on something different and ignore the ones I already have that are on different topics. Too much of a mood reader. My no-book-buy ban doesn’t seem to last very long. I would like to re-institute it but have trouble sticking to it. What will help is that now I have a budget for each month, so if I want to buy a book, I have to have enough money saved up in my hobby account. If not, I must wait. Good discipline!
Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God by Gloria Furman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I wanted to like this book. But I had trouble with it. The first part of the book does an overview of the Old Testament, a high fly-over. Which was good (and accurate), but just didn’t really grab me. Perhaps I read this book at a time where I wasn’t really in the “mood” for this particular subject. I found the writing not as smooth as I would have liked. It seemed disjointed and rambling. While there were nuggets of good stuff in it, it just wasn’t coherent to me. I ended up not finishing the book after reading almost half of it. It just didn’t seem to be going anywhere and I felt like I was wasting my time reading it.
It is likely that others will love this book. For me, it just didn’t connect with me or grab me.
*I received a copy of this book free on Kindle from the publisher Crossway in exchange for my review.
Herein Is Love, Vol. 1: Genesis by Nancy E. Ganz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I discovered that a series of commentaries for children had been written, I was eager to check them out. The first in the series is on Genesis and subsequent books cover Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Basically the author writes about what is happening in the book of Genesis and provides further detail. One of the things I especially liked about this commentary is how she tied the stories in Genesis into the promise of Jesus Christ, the coming Savior. While written for children (and I would say older children, not young ones), the commentary is also enjoyable for adults to read. I would caution parents to read ahead of time to know if a section is age appropriate or to skip particular portions that their child might not be old enough to handle. Since Genesis does include talk of s*x, so does the commentary, though not luridly or inappropriately.
The book is written in a very readable style, story-like, drawing one into the stories of Genesis. Again, her tying Genesis in with God’s plan of redemption was well-done, I thought. There was a phrase she gave early on in the book that gave me pause and I don’t think I would agree with regarding the creation of man. “God breathed into him, so that God’s Spirit would be part of him.” I don’t agree with saying that God’s Spirit became part of man. I’m not sure what she meant to convey by that statement. Perhaps it just means that God created man as both a physical and spiritual being. Since the majority of the book seems to be sound theologically, that alone isn’t enough to make me not recommend the book. Just to point it out as a caution and potentially needing explanation when doing this with kids.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this for parents to use with their older children (upper elementary age, middle school). It could be used as a family devotional. Scripture passages are given with each chapter for digging deeper. It really helped to bring the book of Genesis alive and linked it with the theme of the whole Bible – Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher Shepherd Press in exchange for my review.
Chronological Study Bible: Explore God’s Word In Historical Order- New King James Version by Anonymous
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing Bible. I was sent for review one of the imitation leather versions. While I think it is important to read the Bible straight through for context and to not have sections of books broken up, I also think reading through the Bible in the order that events happened can open up the story and allow us to see the big picture of God’s unfolding story. David’s Psalms are interspersed through his ordeals with his various enemies. The prophets are interspersed with the kings that they were prophesying about judgment to. It really helps to bring clarification to a lot of the Old Testament stories to have things in chronological order. My favorite translations of NASB and ESV have yet to put out a chronological Bible. While I don’t mind the NIV translation, it is not word-for-word, and I’m leary of the New Living Translation as it is much more thought-for-thought and I prefer as close to the original as possible. Without getting into a debate on translations, I wanted a chronological Bible that was in a more word-for-word translation, and I do like the New King James Version as being more readable today than the original King James.
But this Bible is much more than just having the Bible in chronological order. It is also a study Bible. It does not have commentary style notes like most study Bibles, however, it does include information and articles to help explain the text. Because it is chronological, there are no book outlines, but there are instead timelines and information about what was taking place during that era of humanity. Throughout the Bible, the top of the pages includes a running timeline of where you currently are in history.
In the back is a glossary as well as a concordance and reading plans are included to help you read through the Bible. Definitely a great Bible to see the chronological story, as well as being a more accurate translation.
*I received a copy of this Bible for free from the publishers Thomas Nelson through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for my review.
The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New by Marty Machowski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a beautifully illustrated book for children that explains to them the key points of theology, including Who God is, Who Jesus is, and the way of salvation. Written in an easy to understand manner, the doctrines are presented in short chapters with extra Scripture verses for further investigation. At the back of the book are further questions for each chapter to dive a little deeper for older children. While I don’t have children of my own, I babysit a lot and see this as an excellent resource to read with children, introducing them to the study of God and understanding sin and the need for a Savior.
There is also a CD called “The Ology” by Sovereign Grace Music that can be used to teach some of the key doctrines through fun songs. In the section on salvation, Calvinism is taught in that God is the One Who saves us as we are completely dead and helpless in our sin. There is also a section on the end times, basically on Jesus coming back to judge the world and then the New Heavens and Earth.
This is a wonderful book to use with kids in helping to teach them the doctrines of God, salvation, the Bible, and more. The book is also beautiful and appealing with its drawings. I highly recommend using this book, particularly for elementary aged children, to help them in learning theology and being established in what the Bible teaches. It can easily be used as a family devotional.
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher New Growth Press in exchange for my review.
D. A. Carson: “People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”
We must be intentional about pursuing holiness. We must be in God’s Word in order to know Him more and grow to be more like Christ.